August 7, 2012 / 8:51 AM / 5 years ago

Idemitsu in final talks on Vietnam refinery project

TOKYO, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Japan's third-biggest oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan is in the last stages of talks on a final investment decision to build a $5.8 billion refinery in Vietnam, a company official said on Tuesday.

Funding for the 200,000 barrels per day Nghi Son refinery project has largely been lined up, four years after it was initially announced, Shunichi Kito, Idemitsu's executive officer in charge of accounting, told reporters.

"We are in final stages (of talks), there is no big problem with Vietnam, and the talks are not at a deadlock," Kito said, adding that Idemitsu would like to make a decision on the investment as soon as possible. He did not give an exact date.

When completed, the Nghi Son refinery would be Vietnam's second.

Japanese oil refiners are looking abroad for expansion opportunities as oil demand declines at home due to an ageing population and an accelerated shift to more environment-friendly energy sources such as gas.

Kuwait Petroleum International and Japan's Idemitsu Kosan Co each have a 35.1 percent stake in the project; Petrovietnam has a 25.1 percent stake and Mitsui Chemicals Inc holds the remaining 4.7 percent stake.

Japan's JX Nippon Oil and Energy, a unit of JX Holdings , has been also considering teaming up with Petrovietnam for the expansion plan of Vietnam's Dung Quat oil refinery. (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; editing by Miral Fahmy)

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